Real Madrid take on Valencia on Sunday evening and, the day before the trip to Mestalla, Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media and discussed a number of different topics. Firstly, he explained that his players were feeling the effects of their intense night at the San Siro in midweek.
Ancelotti said: “Physically, not all have yet recovered. But, I think the team will be good by tomorrow, when we have a very demanding match because Valencia are in good form. We’ll need to be intelligent. I’m not worried about [the style of play of José Bordalás teams], as I’m just worried about the fact they’re playing well.”
Ancelotti was then asked about rotations and what the approach will be this season, with a specific question about how to go about replacing Casemiro. To that, the coach replied: “I think rotations are important because there are players who might be tired or players who are young and who we need to look out for. I don’t think there will be major rotations, but we obviously need to change some players. With Casemiro, we don’t have any players with the same characteristics. I’d love Casemiro to play every match, but when he can’t then we might have to change the strategy and plan of the team. Using a double pivot in these situations is an option.”
During the press conference, the Italian also provided an injury update on Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale. He said: “[Hazard] didn’t play last game as he had a small knee injury. That also bothered him yesterday, so we’ll see what happens. He has improved in general, but we need to be careful with him because of the past injuries. To play him in two matches in a row could be tough. He’s not yet at the level we all want, but we’re all confident that he’ll get back to his best. With Bale, we still don’t know how long he’ll need. It’s quite a significant injury, so it’s hard to give a return date. It’s a shame because he had been playing well, with us and the national team.”
Ancelotti on Camavinga’s rapid adaptation
Eduardo Camavinga has hit the ground running, scoring a goal and providing an assist across his first two appearances off the bench. With that in mind, Ancelotti was asked if he has been surprised by the Frenchman’s rapid adaptation. He said: “Yes, it has surprised me a little, to be honest. We all knew the quality he has, physically and technically. Then, he has shown his personality and character on the pitch, which we didn’t know about as much. He doesn’t get worried on the pitch, as he is confident in his ability.”
Ancelotti on Rodrygo’s status
It was Rodrygo who scored the goal against Inter in midweek, but the Brazilian still isn’t considered a regular starter at the club. Despite this, the coach is happy with the youngster’s role in the squad. On Rodrygo, Ancelotti said: “Rodrygo can play across the various positions of attack. He is the present and future of Real Madrid.”